How To: Recipe Adaptationw

Just after I posted my Sweet, Tangy & Crunchy Slaw recipe I had an epiphany. I was outside thinking about the ingredients and flavors of the slaw dressing when an idea struck me like a bolt of lightning. I thought to myself, "Self, this could be the base of many barbecue recipes!"

What follows is the extrapolation of that thought.

My epiphany was wondering how many barbecue derivations I could make using the slaw dressing as the base. At first the goal was to only change three of the ten ingredients, but that became unworkable. I then expanded the rule to allow only four changes. I had initially set the goal at ten other sauces and/or dressings, but in the end I was able to dig up twelve.

To add a little more fun to this experiment I recruited the younger two of our three daughters -- Shelby and Chloe (the eldest, Hailey, is at church camp) to do some "kitchen chemistry". I thought that they might enjoy seeing the morphing of flavors with just a few changes. I was right. They dug it down to their shoes and said, "Daddy, can we do this again? It was fun!" That's about all a foodie daddy needs to hear to make his week.

Here's what we came up with:

Base Recipe
1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Distilled vinegar
1/4 cup Apple cider vinegar
2 tsp Kosher salt
2 tsp Celery salt
1/2 tsp Ground mustard (powder)
1/2 tsp Ground white pepper
1 tsp Granulated onion
1 tsp Black pepper, ground fresh
Juice of 1 lemon (approximately 2 Tbsp)

Creamy Slaw Dressing
1 cup Mayonnaise
1/2 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp Lemon juice
2 tsp Kosher salt
2 tsp Celery salt
1 tsp Granulated onion
1 tsp Black pepper
1/2 tsp Ground mustard
1/2 tsp White pepper

Mustard Slaw Dressing
1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Yellow mustard
1/4 cup Apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp Lemon juice
2 tsp Kosher salt
2 tsp Celery salt
1 tsp Granulated onion
1 tsp Black pepper
1/2 tsp Ground mustard
1/2 tsp White pepper

Asian Slaw Dressing
1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Pineapple juice
1/4 Apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp Soy sauce
2 tsp Sesame oil
2 tsp Celery salt
1 tsp Granulated onion
1 tsp Black pepper
1/2 tsp Ground mustard
1/2 tsp White pepper

Eastern Carolina-style BBQ Sauce
1 cup Distilled vinegar
1/2 cup Apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup Dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp Hot sauce
2 tsp Kosher salt
2 tsp Celery salt
1 tsp Granulated onion
1 tsp Black pepper
1/2 tsp Ground mustard
1/2 tsp White pepper

Western Carolina-style BBQ Sauce
1 cup Distilled vinegar
1/2 cup Apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup Dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp Ketchup
2 tsp Kosher salt
2 tsp Celery salt
1 tsp Granulated onion
1 tsp Black pepper
1/2 tsp Ground mustard
1/2 tsp White pepper

South Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce
1 cup Distilled vinegar
1/2 cup Yellow mustard
1/4 cup Dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp Ketchup
2 tsp Kosher salt
2 tsp Celery salt
1 tsp Granulated onion
1 tsp Black pepper
1/2 tsp Ground mustard
1/2 tsp White pepper

Memphis-style BBQ Sauce
1 cup Ketchup
1/2 cup Apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup Molasses
2 Tbsp Yellow mustard
2 tsp Kosher salt
2 tsp Celery salt
1 tsp Granulated onion
1 tsp Black pepper
1/2 tsp Ground mustard
1/2 tsp White pepper

Kansas City-style BBQ Sauce
1 cup Ketchup
1/2 cup Dark brown sugar
1/4 cup Apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp Honey
2 tsp Kosher salt
2 tsp Celery salt
1 tsp Granulated onion
1 tsp Black pepper
1/2 tsp Ground mustard
1/2 tsp White pepper

Texas-style BBQ Sauce
1 cup Cocktail sauce
1/2 cup Apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup Dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp Chili powder
2 tsp Kosher salt
2 tsp Celery salt
1 tsp Granulated onion
1 tsp Black pepper
1/2 tsp Ground mustard
1/2 tsp White pepper

Asian-style BBQ Sauce
1 cup Hoisin sauce
1/2 cup Pineapple juice
1/4 cup Rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp Minced garlic
2 tsp Kosher salt
2 tsp Celery salt
1 tsp Granulated onion
1 tsp Black pepper
1/2 tsp Ground mustard
1/2 tsp White pepper

Island-style BBQ Sauce
1 cup Pineapple juice
1/2 cup Dark brown sugar
1/4 cup Guava nectar
2 Tbsp Hoisin sauce
2 tsp Kosher salt
2 tsp Celery salt
1 tsp Granulated onion
1 tsp Black pepper
1/2 tsp Ground mustard
1/2 tsp White pepper

BBQ Mop Sauce
1 cup Apple juice
1/2 cup Apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup Canola oil
2 Tbsp Molasses
2 tsp Kosher salt
2 tsp Celery salt
1 tsp Granulated onion
1 tsp Black pepper
1/2 tsp Ground mustard
1/2 tsp White pepper

Method
Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk to combine.

The idea here isn't to give you the be-all-end-all recipe for each style of sauce or dressing, but, rather, to demonstrate how a simple base recipe can be the starting point and/or inspiration for a completely different recipe.

Recipe adaptation is your friend!

Note: The ingredient amounts you see in the picture were scaled-down for experimentation.

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9 Comments:
Blogger Chris said...
First and foremost, my favorite cooks are when Trevor helps out. Those are special moments, aren't they?

So which of these were your favorites? I have book marked this post to try these although it may take 6 weeks to get through them all, ha ha.
Blogger John Dawson said...
Chris - They are special moments indeed. The girlies liked a bunch of them, but their overall favorite was the Island-style sauce, probably followed by the Asian.
Blogger CraigGoldwyn said...
Nice work. As it happens, I am currently researching the history of BBQ sauce and as I work backwards I landed on Chinese Sweet Sour Sauce, which is vinegar and sugar and eventually had tomato added. I think the sweet sour yin yang is a cornerstone of many recipes, like sweet salty. The whole thing converges on Mumbo Sauce which is a condiment popular in DC. It is served in most Chinese restaurants and fried chicken joints. It is a ketchupy sweet sour sauce and it first appeared in the are in the early 60s or late 50s. As I traced the history I landed in Chicago just before Mumbo sauce appeared in DC. Seems a black restaurateur named Collins bottled a BBQ sauce called Mumbo Sauce in 1957. Bingo! BBQ sauce meets sweet sour sauce. Of course ketchup is a blend of sugar, vinegar, and tomato paste. And that brings me to your exercise, because in NC, coleslaw is red, with ketchup! Whew!
Blogger John Dawson said...
Thanks, Meathead! You're like the Bill Nye The Science Guy of barbecue. :-)
Anonymous Robyn said...
John, I love how you wrapped your analytical mind around this to explain the basis of so many great sauces/recipes!
Blogger Savannah McQueen said...
Thanks...this is so creative. Love that your kids were involved. Just a great idea all the way around. Found you through TastyKitchen and I have subscribed to your site. Happy Grilling! -Savannah
Wow these sound terrific! Thanks for sharing.
Anonymous Digital Printing said...
Wow congratulations for posting all of them. This is a great help for my son who is enrolled now in a culinary class. I just forwarded this to my son last night. I have bookmarked this.
Blogger javed vardi said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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